Climate change financing needs impetus, says Oxfam

By agency reporter
October 13, 2010

A report on how to raise the billions of dollars needed by millions of poor people already affected by climate change must help jump-start the delivery of climate financing, says international development agency Oxfam.

The report was considered yesterday (12 October 20101) by the Advisory Group on Climate Finance (AGF), set up by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, to identify ways of raising the $100 billion a year by 2020 which was pledged by rich countries at last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen.

Oxfam says that the report could help move discussions on climate financing forward by giving clear options to help raise public money for climate adaptation and mitigation without dipping into Government budgets.

"This money must be on top of the 0.7 per cent aid commitment and can be achieved using innovative financial mechanisms including the Robin Hood Tax and levies on international shipping and aviation," the agency has declared.

Oxfam’s senior climate change adviser David Waskow commented: “While some private sources of finance are welcome, only grant-based public funding can reach the most vulnerable communities struggling to adapt to climate change. Those on the front-line, like women farmers - responsible for more than half the food produced in some countries - need grants, not new debt, to cope with unpredictable harvests."

He added: “Climate change is a new burden on poor countries, making their struggle to escape poverty harder and more expensive. The UN group’s report must show how the $100 billion committed by rich countries in Copenhagen can be raised in addition to existing aid promises.”

Oxfam views progress in climate financing as a key building block to help put the UN climate negotiations back on track.

The report’s analysis will help governments to take innovative public financing options forward through the UNFCCC, which meets in Cancun at the end of November, say its backers.

Oxfam says developed country governments must take leadership in this process to regain the trust of developing countries which are still waiting for the financial help they desperately need to adapt and develop in a low-carbon way.

Waskow explained: “The Advisory Group report must give options to raise new climate finance, but decisions on how it is managed must be agreed by all countries in the UN climate negotiations.”

He continued: “Options which deliver substantial new public funds must be taken up with the same urgency with which rich countries dealt with the financial crisis. The lives and livelihoods of millions are at stake.”

The report was discussed at the final AGF meeting and will now be submitted to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, at the end of the month.


Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.